Vault Tales 158 ToyTrio Opabinia, Pterygotus, Quetzalcoatlus

Got another Trio today–a trio of entirely Kaiyodo Dinotales! And funny enough, all of them have been produced in at least two variations (although I may not have every version). At least here I can save some time–all of these are of course long out of production, and can only be found through auctions or trading. And they are all the traditional Dinotales material of easily-breakable plastics–these are not toys!

Kaiyodo UHA Dinotales Series 1 version 2 Opabinia

First up, we have a model from the very first Dinotales–but this one is from the later second release. It is officially numbered 021.2; that “.2” indicates that this is a revised model (on the figure itself, it is stamped 21.). This is the sort of crazy thing you eventually get used to figuring out when sorting through Dinotales history. The revised versions of series one tended to have nicer or more elaborate paint jobs (not that the first ones were bad); many figures also had revisions to the model pieces, which means you can’t mix and match the figures from both series.

The design of the figure is superb. I do not think that they missed any of the important elements of this animal. The lobes on the sides are overlapping, and they captured that final segment with the three separate lobes. The five eyes on stalks are there, and of course the vacuum-hose looking snout with a claw-like end. Really, Opabinia is a really weird animal, and Kaiyodo didn’t miss a beat with it. The colour scheme is really appealing, successfully (to me) balancing between a more outlandish scheme, but still coming across as realistic for an arthropod! Kaiyodo must like this animal–they later released a slightly revised sculpt as part of their Palaeozoic CapsuleQ Museum series seen here. Unlike that CapsuleQ figure, the Dinotales model doesn’t have any kind of base.

Kaiyodo Lawson Dinotales Series 7 Pterygotus

Next, another invertebrate from Kaiyodo–from their Series 7 release (with Lawson instead of UHA, the source of the first 4 series…again, there’s a lot that goes into the history of these). By this time, most of these figures were not sold in boxes with candy like the UHA ones (side note, that candy was terrible), but with drink bottles in pouches. These series (5, 6 and 7) were also made with two variants of every figure, using the same sculpt and different paint schemes. In general I would only seek one; for some of them I like both schemes so I would get both, but one is usually enough for my needs! This one is number 117A, the green colour (the other one, 117B, is black!)

This Pterygotus is the second attempt at a eurypterid from the Dinotales series. There was a Eurypterus made with series 2. This model looks great, which, it’s a Dinotales figure, so generally a given. Figures like this, though, require a lot of care by the sculptor–they took the care to make sure that all 5 pairs of appendages are clearly present, and are nicely proportional. Thin legs like this can be really tricky for tiny toys like this–and lets be honest, thin pieces like this won’t survive on the average toy! It’s also notable that the underside is carefully sculpted as well, although the paint is limited to a single colour. A model of this animal was also re-released, on a base, with the Palaeozoic series.

Kaiyodo Lawson Dinotales Series 6 Quetzalcoatlus

Finally, a pterosaur from the Dinotales series 6, an earlier Lawson collection, the giant pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus. This was also one of two paint schemes released; the number of this one is 097B (the other is…very pink). Again, another figure sold with bottled drinks in a blind bag. Unlike some similarly-posed pterosaurs released by Kaiyodo, this one has a small base, which provides a little more stability for the folded wing pieces.

Again, it’s hard to give much judgment on the figure. The walking/resting pose is a nice way to represent the animal, giving a better sense of how tall these reptiles were. I think the depiction of Quetzalcoatlus had become popularized around the time this figure came out (mid-2000s) and had not yet been seen in a figure (this has become more common now). The figure itself is sculpted nicely, although there is no hint of pycnofibres on the body (although I’m not sure where the science is on that now). The colours are nice, and the animal has some great life to it. And once more, not only is there a second version from within the series, there was a re-release of the figure, with some slight modification, when Kaiyodo released their CapsuleQ Museum Dinosaur Excavation series; I don’t think I actually got any of the figures from that series (nothing was unique to me!).

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